Ventus expands its team of advisors focused on structure-based drug design
WALTHAM, Mass. & MONTREAL, December 17, 2021 – Ventus Therapeutics U.S., Inc., a biopharmaceutical company utilizing structural biology and cutting-edge computational tools to identify and develop small molecule therapeutics across a broad range of disease indications, today announced the appointment of John Chodera, Ph.D. and Tom Kurtzman, Ph.D. to its Scientific Advisory Board (SAB). The new members of the SAB have been recruited to work closely with SAB member Dr. Christopher Bayly to advise on scaling the company’s ReSOLVE™ platform and applying computational approaches for structure-based drug design.
The new advisors are leaders in areas of study foundational to the ReSOLVE™ platform and complement the SAB’s expertise in molecular dynamics and free energy calculation. Dr. Chodera has developed free energy methods for drug design and authored methods to study the role of protein conformations in drug development and design. Dr. Kurtzman is a pioneer in the exploration and determination of the structure of water in biological systems, having developed one of the earliest tools for modeling water in a binding pocket.
“We are excited to welcome Dr. Chodera and Dr. Kurtzman to our SAB,” said Michael Crackower, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer of Ventus. “We look forward to leveraging their experience and expertise as we work to further our ability to apply our ReSOLVE™ platform to solve drug discovery challenges for many proteins implicated in diseases of high unmet medical need. In particular, we look forward to Drs. Chodera and Kurtzman contributing their expertise as we work to enhance the quality and speed of our unique virtual screening platform and the speed at which we can prosecute screening hits to optimize drug-like molecules.”
Dr. Chodera is an experienced computational chemist and an Associate Member at the Sloan Kettering Institute for Cancer Research (MSKCC). His research combines the disciplines of statistical mechanics, biomolecular simulation, and biophysical measurements to develop quantitative models for predicting and understanding how small molecules selectively bind biomolecular targets, how binding modulates conformation and function, and how mutations can perturb drug binding affinities to cause drug resistance. John holds a B.S. in Biology from Caltech and a Ph.D. in Biophysics from the University of California, San Francisco. He completed postdoctoral studies at Stanford University and at University of California, Berkeley as a QB3 Fellow.
Dr. Kurtzman is a professor at Lehman College, City University of New York, where his research focuses on the development of computational methods that aid in the discovery and rational design of new drugs. His approach applies a combination of statistical mechanical theory and computer simulations to better understand the physical principles governing the molecular recognition between proteins and small molecule drug candidates. His research contributions provide a framework to account for and quantify the role that water plays in molecular recognition. Dr. Kurtzman earned a B.A. in chemistry from the University of California, Santa Cruz, a Ph.D. in chemistry from Stanford University, and pursued postdoctoral research at Columbia University.
About Ventus Therapeutics
Ventus Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company utilizing structural biology and cutting-edge computational tools to identify and develop small molecule therapeutics across a broad range of disease indications, with an initial focus on immunology, inflammation and neurology. We have developed a proprietary drug discovery platform, called ReSOLVE, which is built upon our structural biology and protein science expertise and our proprietary computational chemistry capabilities, to address the current limitations of small molecule drug discovery. We are leveraging our ReSOLVE platform to discover and characterize previously unknown or poorly understood pockets on the surface of proteins and identify small molecules that can bind to those pockets with optimal affinity. We are focused on high-value targets that have been extensively implicated in human diseases that were previously considered undruggable or where we believe there is a significant opportunity to improve upon existing therapies. Our lead programs target key innate immune modulators, including NLRP3 and cGAS. For more information, please visit www.ventustx.com and engage with us on Twitter @Ventus_Tx or on LinkedIn.
This press release contains forward-looking statements about future expectations, plans and prospects, including, but not limited to, statements related to our future results of operations and financial position, business strategy, prospects, our current programs, planned and ongoing preclinical studies and clinical trials, research and development costs, regulatory approvals, timing and likelihood of success, as well as plans and objectives of management for future operations. These forward-looking statements are based on our current expectations and inherently involve significant risks and uncertainties. Actual results and the timing of events could differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking statements as a result of these risks and uncertainties, which include, without limitation, the initiation, timing, progress and results of preclinical studies and clinical trials of its future product candidates; the results of our earlier studies not being predictive of future results; our ability to maintain and enhance the ReSOLVE platform and use it to effectively identify previously unknown pockets on the surface of proteins and small molecules that have optimal binding affinity for those pockets; our ability to obtain funding for its operations and implement its business strategy; our ability to meet regulatory standards, including any anticipated regulatory developments in the United States and foreign countries in which it may seek regulatory approval for its future product candidates; the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on its business and efforts to address the impact on its business; anticipated developments related to its competitors and its industry; the performance of third-party service providers, including suppliers and manufacturers; and our ability to obtain, maintain, protect and enforce intellectual property protection for its future product candidates and the ReSOLVE platform. Any forward-looking statements contained in this press release speak only as of the date hereof, and we undertake no duty or obligation to update any forward-looking statements as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.